By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw International Sports Lawyer
Association football is not only the world’s favourite sport but also its most lucrative one. Confirmation of this – if any confirmation were needed – comes in a Book published in Germany on 11 May, 2017 and appropriately entitled: ‘Football Leaks: the Dirty Dealings in International Football’ in which the astronomical sums paid to players and their agents are revealed!
The Book, which is only published in German at present, is written by Rafael Buschmann and Michael Wulzinger of the German magazine ‘Der Spiegel’ and is published by DVA Sachbuch. It is a collaboration between the authors and the ‘Football Leaks’ website, which was launched in September 2015, at ‘www.footballleaks2015wordpress.com’.
For an interesting and revealing review of this Book by Rob Draper, log onto the ‘MailOnline’ website at ‘www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4497350/Football-Leaks-review-fall-felt.html’.
For the reviewer, this Book “has been a sobering read” even, as he remarks, for those well versed in the “absurd figures football generates.”
For example, the £920,000 paid to Cristiano Ronaldo by a Saudi Telecoms Company for four and a half hours work, which the reviewer characterises as “mind-boggling.”
Again, the £25 million salary paid to Didier Drogba by Shanghai Shenua; and the £143,000 a goal payable to Ibrahimovic by Manchester United if he scores between 16 and 20 goals this season. The highest player in the world, however, is the Argentinian, Ezequiel Lavezzi, who plays for Hebei China Fortune and earns a staggering £798,000 a week!
Perhaps the payment that takes the biscuit, so to speak, is the bonus of £1 million paid to Mario Balotelli of Liverpool for not receiving three red cards in a season.
The interesting thing about the Book is that it includes extracts from players’ contracts, for all to see in black and white, and is, therefore, authoritative and reliable.
However, one of the revelations by ‘Football Leaks’ that has caught FIFA’s attention is Paul Pogba’s world-record transfer, in the summer of 2016, from Juventus to Manchester United and, in particular, the sums paid to his agent, reputedly £41 million! This will shortly be the subject of a GSLTR post by Jonathan Copping.
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’